We were recently asked to investigate a health & safety incident that had resulted in a significant impact on the business we were working for. It quickly became evident that there had been a multiple of failures that had contributed to the event and our task was to look at why.
What was interesting was that the business itself was going through some major changes and as part of this process, senior management were demanding that cost savings were achieved. Clearly, all departments were under pressure and had to make decisions about where savings could be made.
Unfortunately, some of those savings made had impacted negatively on how the business managed its risks and a key element was taking out experienced staff. What was missing was a review of the potential impact of making such changes and making sure the risk assessment had been updated to reflect this. Had this been done then it could have changed the decision or at least allowed for a staged approach and allowed time for training to be delivered.
We would recommend that if your business is looking at making significant cost savings, that you go through a review of your risk assessments and seriously consider the potential implications. Taking highly experienced and trained staff out of an operation can often change the risk profile of the business operations.